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Busy festive season ahead for Scotts Lakers

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IT WILL be a busy festive season for Scotts Lakers St Paul's with another home game in Killarney Sports Centre along with Castleisland Christmas blitz action plus a big National Cup semi-final to look forward to.

Scotts Lakers will face Sligo All Stars in a national league division one game on Saturday, December 30, at 3pm in Killarney Sports Centre. This match has been rescheduled to this date after Sligo were unable to travel due to bad weather on December 10.

Prior to the Sligo match, the Lakers will compete in the premier men category of the annual Castleisland Christmas blitz on Thursday, December 28. The Killarney side have three games that day against Fr Mathews at 2.10pm and Ballincollig at 4.35pm before facing the high-flying Tralee Warriors at 6.55pm. The top two teams in this competition will contest the Premier Men final that night at 8.45pm.

Scotts Lakers will get 2018 off to a start with a very important President’s Cup semi-final against Ballincollig on Saturday, January 6, in the Neptune Stadium, Cork, at 8pm. The other semi-final featuring Neptune against Keane’s SuperValu Killorglin will go ahead on Friday, January 5, at 8.30pm.

The return to national league action after a nine year absence has been an enjoyable learning experience for the St Paul's club and the Scotts Lakers team that has tremendous potential and have enjoyed a season of mixed fortunes so far. The Lakers got off to a great start with early wins over Dublin Lions and Limerick Celtics.

The visit of league favourites Killorglin to Killarney Sports Centre attracted an estimated crowd of 950, probably the biggest crowd ever to attend a national league basketball game in Killarney. Lakers had chances to win this game but Killorglin's foreign players proved to be the difference in the end. The huge crowds that have been attending the home games just shows the appetite and goodwill towards national league basketball in Killarney and the club will be hoping to build on this huge support for the remainder of the season and in the future. Other highs of the season so far include the dramatic overtime win over Ulster Elks in November and the big cup quarterfinal win away to Fr Mathews on December 3.

Team coach Cormac O'Donoghue has a squad that is capable of challenging any team in the league when playing to full potential. Americans Antuan Bootle and Justin Tuason have been prominent while Mark Greene and Padraig Lucey are two of the best Irish players in the league. Team captain Philip O'Connor along with veteran players Andrew Fitzgerald, Dan Griffin and Shane Horgan and promising young players Cian Clernon, Mark O'Shea and Paul Clarke offer Coach O'Donoghue plenty of options.

Scotts Lakers will be without Mihail Kapitanov, who has taken up a job offer in Italy, but the good news is the addition of Dalian Mason, a shooting guard, who will hopefully increase the scoring threat of the Lakers for the rest of the season. Following the busy festive season, Scotts Lakers will have a home game in the national league against Limerick Celtics on Saturday, January 13, at 7.30pm in Killarney Sports Centre.
 


 
Above: Maurice O'Donoghue of Scotts Hotel, Killarney, sponsor of Scott Lakers St Paul's basketball team, pictured with team members Mark Greene, Andrew Fitzgerald, Antuan Bootle and Philip O'Connor. Pic: Eamonn Keogh

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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